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Brighton & Sussex Medical School

First year perspectives

BSMS > Undergraduate > What our students say > Our students > First year perspectives

First year perspectives

Select a student from the menu on the left to find out their thoughts on studying with us.
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Eleanor Deane

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How do you find studying at BSMS?

Really loved it so far. The staff here all want us to do our best and take into account our feedback. I enjoy the variety in our timetable, which includes lectures, smaller group teaching, dissection sessions and clinical days. I also like the fact we have our exam at the end of each term, leaving the holidays free for work and rest. 

What do you enjoy most about the course?

A lot of our learning is very hands on. It has been a privilege to take part in full body dissection. Having the opportunity to follow the development of a baby and talk to the mother has been a very valuable experience. I also enjoy the clinical workshops, for example practising a cardiovascular examination. 

How do you enjoy living in Brighton?

I love living in Brighton and it is a great student city. There are great pubs and clubs in Brighton, which provide a great night out to balance the workload. 

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Gabby Alexander-Harvey

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Why did you choose BSMS?

I was attracted to the teaching style and course here: there's a good balance of quite traditional lecture and seminar-based scientific learning, but this is run alongside a clinical aspect. Another aspect that attracted me was that BSMS offers anatomical teaching through dissection. Working in the dissection room was initially very challenging for me, but it has been an honour to learn from such a unique and fascinating opportunity.

How do you find it studying here?

It's easy to get to know everyone on the small year cohorts at BSMS, and it gives the medical school a very friendly and also family-like atmosphere. During first year, Tuesdays are spent developing clinical skills, which involves placements in various hospital departments and GP practices. For me, this has been a fantastic way of learning more about the different specialties of medicine and I've enjoyed the challenge of early patient contact.  

What’s it like living in halls?

I'm very lucky to have an all medic flat which means we can all go to lectures together and easily plan social events around our timetable – it's also perfect for revision, there's always someone to ask for advice and everyone respects when other flatmates are working hard on an assignment.

What kind of extra curricular activities are available?

BSMS has many of its own societies including novelty societies (such as Target society and Bake-Soc), various sports societies and disciplinary societies such as Surgical society. Being a student at BSMS also gives you the 'best of both worlds' as you can also be part of the societies at both the Universities of Brighton and Sussex. Wednesday afternoons are kept clear for extra curricular activities.

What’s it like living in Brighton?

Brighton is an amazing town and it's always buzzing with things to do and see. There’s also lots to discover just outside Brighton and around Falmer – just down the road from halls is a farm shop with a great range of farm produce and most importantly farmhouse cakes and biscuits! If you fancy a peaceful break from revision but don't want to venture into Brighton there are footpaths that lead off onto countryside walks. My flat and I have really enjoyed taking advantage of the local buses to visit the small towns around Brighton – Rottingdean is home to a secret garden dedicated to Rudyard Kipling. 

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Vanisha Victor

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"The integrated teaching methodology was what attracted me to BSMS the most. In addition to that, the opportunity to have clinical contact to apply theoretical knowledge into real-life scenarios was appealing. 

"BSMS has brought me the feeling of home away from home in just a few weeks. Everyone is friendly and there's no sense of segregation. The staff at BSMS really value the importance of a work-life balance so there's plenty of room for serious fun as well as studying." 

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Elizabeth Wong

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"BSMS has a very attractive curriculum to me, especially the full cadaver dissection. And most importantly, the location of the medical school is perfect – it's not too far from London, which makes flying home an easier journey.

BSMS has a small community of international students. In school, you wouldn't feel segregated or special in any sense, which allows you to fit in seamlessly. Of course, there's always special support for international students, in settling in and getting around. Joining your own country's society helps you get the feeling of home away from home.

Brighton is a great city, there's beautiful scenery and also a decent shopping scene! It’s also a very eccentric city; you honestly can see so many different and quirky things on the street, which adds to the fun of it!"

Michelle Riska

"What I enjoy most about my course at BSMS is that I finally get to do what I've always wanted to do. I get to study medicine and do what I love. 

I live with other medics which is really a great advantage especially when it comes to exam time. Everyone is focused on their studies - it's a great community to live in."

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Craig Tilley

"I really enjoyed getting out into clinical practice from my third week here. My confidence with patients has improved incredibly, and it gives a great insight into what future careers would offer us.

"There are so many societies and sports team just run for BSMS students. My favourite is the wilderness medicine society, which has made me consider a career in tropical medicine."

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Katie Clarke

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"I like that we are a part of two universities as it gives us access to an extra choice of societies and academic support.

The small size of BSMS allows you to get to know your year quickly and also makes it easier to get academic help if you need it. Having full cadaveric dissection sessions has really helped to learn anatomy in so much more detail and with a greater understanding.

"The early exposure to patients in clinical settings (in the first few weeks!) and clinical workshops helps you to gain the skills and manner needed for the future. You get to practice taking patient histories during your GP visits which really allows you to gain confidence in doing so. 

"There are hundreds of societies across both universities as well as our very own Medsoc ones. This term I have taken up tennis and contemporary dance as well as benefiting from the student anatomy society.

"The student accommodation is really close to the med school which is ideal for 9.00am lectures. It's modern and has a friendly team of staff who are happy to help you out with any problems! The rooms are large with an ensuite, the kitchen is really spacious too with enough cupboard and fridge space for everyone." 

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Imraan Mansoor

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"I am really impressed by the closeness and support coming from the medical school. The classes are done very well and the dissection sessions are absolutely amazing. I am very glad that I chose to come to BSMS and couldn't imagine going elsewhere.

The city of Brighton is very exciting with tons of amazing restaurants. I highly recommend BSMS to any international students."

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Helena Cook

"BSMS has a really small cohort so you get to know everyone really quickly. It's nice to know everyone in your dissection group, module group and people from the years above both socially and academically. It's also really easy to ask for help if you ever get stuck.

I take part in the BrightWAMS society which is dedicated to widening participation in medicine in Sussex. We get to visit local schools and teach the children how to use medical equipment like stethoscopes and talk to them about the role of a doctor."

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Dominic Gyimah

"Living in halls, our living area provides the perfect environment to relax and socialise after an intense day of lectures.

Having your own en suite is an added bonus. Most importantly, the proximity to the medical school means that it is very easy to get to lectures in the morning." 

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Rebecca Terry

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"For anyone who loves a close knit community, a supportive team of peers and staff, and an interactive clinical based medical learning experience – there is no better place than BSMS."

Studying at BSMS

I chose BSMS because I really wanted a close knit year group and I felt that BSMS is a real family. The small year group meant that I would be able to know everyone which I feel is a real advantage for work and socials.

My favourite part of my course is the first hand clinical experience right from the beginning, which allows us to see how the science relates to a clinical setting. It may seem at times that lectures will never be relevant in practice but from clinical placements, this is clearly not the case from day one, which makes lectures more interesting and bearable.

I find dissection is essential for learning anatomy  -  the hands on practical experience makes learning fun and interactive and helps you stay on top of course content without even realising you are learning the language of medicine.

Societies at BSMS

BSMS societies are very relaxed but there are so many opportunities.  I have been to surgsoc events, anatomy society events and there are a load of sports and arts events coming up such as shows, which I’m really excited to get involved in. We have an added advantage of being able to get involved in Brighton and Sussex university societies. For example, I have been to Trampolining society at Sussex and Polo society with Brighton.  This is a unique advantage to BSMS.

Life after BSMS

At the moment I hope to become a trauma doctor, preferably on HEMS but I am open to options and my placements keep me extremely excited about all aspects of medicine. No experience fails to surprise and intrigue me.